It was a cruel historical mistake. A blunder at a remote point in Western history that has condemned us for life. A mistake, by the way, that has hit (and still hits) some of us more than others. It all started with a snake coiled in an apple tree. The reptile was determined to altruistically offer the fruit of knowledge to mankind. The apple, obviously, was forbidden by an iron divine regime that relegated mere mortals to a nondescript life of servitude and obedience. Thus, Eve bit and as a consequence-punishment we were expelled from paradise and condemned to live a life of suffering. But is this not better than living under the yoke of such a jealous and vengeful god? Why should god alone be the only source of reason? Why remain mute in the face of a god-dictator? For its part, the serpent (already cursed) underwent the most monstrous transformations: with the horns of a bovine, with the legs of a goat, with the wings of a bat and the tusks of a boar…. All this to better represent the incarnation of evil and human vices.
So much so, that they have even made him lose the meaning of his real name: Lucifer, which is none other than the “light bearer”, the one who brings wisdom, the one who breathes science, the one who reveals knowledge… even if for that he has to break the established dominant rules. The biblical exegetes have done us a great favor!
Ela Fidalgo (Palma de Mallorca, 1993) works vehemently on current human behavior and does so by delving into the depths of the cultural substrates that have been marking body and psyche with fire. On this occasion she addresses how the Judeo-Christian tradition has turned the most primary human affections into sins and vices of the flesh and the soul and, on the other hand, she gives us a glimpse of how this fact has diminished the creative capacity and the vocation for freedom and justice of all men and women, at least in the Western/Westernized world. It is not a question of claiming the “sins” as ammunition to end the oppression of a particular executing power, but to use them as a starting point to promote an in-depth reflection on the human condition. Or, in other words, to illustrate an old dichotomy (although not overcome) between “perfect” individuals who play at being gods and, therefore, hold power and “reason”, and “imperfect” fallen individuals who, therefore, are flawed and “unreasonable”.
Indeed, Ela’s canvases and sculptures, half painted, half sewn, dare to criticize from an eminently ethical position the burdens that emanate from an oppressive power that dictates the norm and condemns those who question it. From this “Paraíso Perdido”, and as assumed losers that we are, we can do nothing else but launch a cry to protect, defend and vindicate the existence of dissident dignity and their right to express themselves without filters and gain freedom. It is well known that sin and vice have always been tools of social control adopted by the most repressive factual powers as an excuse to exclude certain bodies and psyches that did not even remotely adapt to the imposed norms. To all this, we have to add the legitimization by the church, which, by the way, is based on dubious interpretations of the sacred text. What a trap western culture has set for us!